Cowdenbeath: Cuts to Fife Social Care branded ‘sickening’


  By a Newsnet reporter
The revelation that the hours of home care being provided to older people in Fife has fallen by 17% since the start of a review last year has been branded ‘sickening’ by SNP candidate for Cowdenbeath Constituency Natalie McGarry.
The SNP has highlighted figures which show than 3,000 older people across Fife have had the level of care they receive reviewed, with sharp reductions in the hours of care they receive following. 

Between July and November last year, the number of home care hours reduced from 24,805 to 20,573 – a fall of 17%.

Commenting, SNP Candidate Natalie McGarry said:

“The revelation that so many older people in Fife have seen the amount of care they receive at home cut so drastically is just sickening.  Such a sharp cut in such a short space of time clearly shows that Labour-led Fife Council are simply cutting provision and not putting individual needs first.”

The new figures are particularly embarrassing for Ms McGarry’s main rival for the Fife constituency, Labour councillor Alex Rowley.  Mr Rowley, who is now the leader of Fife council, pledged to protect services for the elderly when in opposition.

A recording made prior to the 2012 council elections shows Mr Rowley warning people against growing old and calling for front line services for the elderly to be protected.

The cuts to home care for the elderly have been implemented since Mr Rowley’s Labour group became the largest party in the 2012 council elections and took over the running of the local authority.

Ms McGarry added: “As leader of the council, the buck well and truly stops with Alex Rowley.  He must explain to older people in this constituency and across Fife who have seen their care cut just how he can justify his actions.

“He has got his priorities all wrong, and this Thursday people have the opportunity to send that message loudly and clearly.”

The by-election has failed to capture the media’s attention despite a row over the council tax freeze dominating early exchanges.

Mr Rowley faced calls to clarify his position on the council tax freeze after he gave an interview in which he said increasing the tax to raise more money was “an option”.  However the Labour candidate caused confusion when in an interview for STV, he denied ever having called for a rise.

The by-election takes place on Thursday 23rd January.